Goodbye Paj

On the 20th of April, my car was stolen and written off (Cat B).

I had test driven multiple Pajero Juniors over the preceding 3 months of buying Paj and was smitten. Eventually I bought it from North Road Motor Company in Dublin, who sold it to me in an unfit condition to drive – the tyres were bald, something highly illegal. They had also said that it had undergone a full service, yet when I checked the air filter and spark plugs, it was obvious that she had not undergone the full service as stated. This helped me knock the price down on her a bit. I did a quick service myself, and had a decent mechanic give her a full going over about a month later.

For a car made from 1995 to 1998, it was very highly specced out – Air conditioning, alloy wheels, ABS, drivers airbag, remote central locking, and a fantastic engine. This is to be expected in 1990’s Japanese cars imported into this country – high spec and long life. Even for a car from 1997, which made its way from Japan to the UK, and eventually Ireland, there was very little rust damage – something very surprising as the Japanese don’t salt their roads compared to the UK, so rust is a major problem.

When I bought her, she had circa 60k km on the clock – since then I drove only about 20k km in 4 years. She helped me move from Galway to Carlow, to work with Blacknight, and eventually to Dublin to work with ICHEC.

What annoyed me the most is that she was stored in a “secure” underground car park. The violation you feel from having something robbed from your home is hard to put into context. I doubt I would be as upset if she was stolen in Tescos, or at the airport.

The car was stolen and, from the look of it, rolled in a ditch. The back axle was completely (and I’m using the highly technical term) fucked. For what it’s worth, the drivers airbag didn’t deploy – so I hope the thief got a nice face full of steering wheel. They also stole the jack, tyre iron, the mount for the GPS and it’s charger, the log book, the ashtray (with a grand total of €4 in loose change in it), my starfish from Charlie the Unicorn 3, jumper cables, windscreen wash, a mini shovel, and my flashlight. Yet, they left my lock knife and the radio as well as their pliers and a screwdriver. I’ve since used the pliers to repair a leaky tap, so thanks lads.

There are a few things to take out of this:

  1. Get an immobiliser – this will help stop the theft and hotwiring
  2. Don’t keep the logbook IN the car
  3. NEVER keep important / expensive things in the car.

So she was brought to Gannons City Recovery by the Guards. I will never, ever, in my life use Gannons. I cannot state this strongly enough. They are the biggest shower of chancers, liars and fear mongers out there who attempted to charge me for storage of Paj (at €40 a day) even though I had NEVER entered into a contract with them – the Guards brought Paj in after finding her in a ditch. Needless to say I was not impressed.

Because the log book was stolen, I had to send off for a new one to the Galway Motor Tax office… So I could send the log book back to them… to claim a refund on my road tax…for a car that was stolen – talk about stupid, as I had my certificate of destruction stating that the log book was stolen along with the car and a number of Garda reports saying the car was stolen.

The only good thing to come out of this, thankfully, is that the insurance company aren’t screwing me over – thank God for keeping the car in mint condition with really really low milage. I’m also only going back two years in my no claims bonus – so it’s not like this will severely affect me financially.

Needless to say, the last few weeks – because of this – have been really stressful. I’d hate to think that it would be like if I needed a car for my daily commute, although my insurance company have offered me a rental car for two weeks as part of my fully comprehensive package.

Now comes the arduous task of test driving cars as a replacement. Every single one of them will have an immobiliser and will NOT be an import – I’m not going down the road of paying exorbitant prices for parts and an increased insurance premium.